Relationships between food insecurity, physical activity, detachment from studies, and students’ well-being: A prospective study

Isoard-Gatheur et al.
Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports – 2023 early access

Research on students’ well-being has shown that studies may have an impact on well-being. However, this relationship is complex and involves many other parameters (e.g., food security and physical activity). Therefore, the objective of the present study was to investigate the relationships between food insecurity (FI), physical activity (PA), and detachment from studies on the one hand, and student well-being, on the other.


A total of 4410 students (mean age = 21.55, 65 192% female) answered an online survey measuring FI, PA, detachment from studies, anxiety, burnout, depression, and satisfaction with life.


A structural equation model (χ [18] = 585.739, RMSEA = 0.095, 90% CI [0.089; 0.102], comparative fit index [CFI]  = 0.92, NNFI = 0.921) indicated that FI negatively predicted, and that detachment from studies and PA positively predicted, the latent variable of well-being.


The results of the present study highlight that students’ well-being is partly determined by FI, detachment from studies, and PA. Therefore, this study highlights the importance of looking at both the diets of students, as well as the activities and experiences they have outside their studies to gain a better understanding of the factors influencing student well-being and the action leverages to promote it.